Lynchburg Hillcats lose late lead

lynchburg hillcatsAfter leading for the majority of the game, the Lynchburg Hillcats allowed five runs in the seventh inning and lost to the Wilmington Blue Rocks, 5-2, on Saturday night at Frawley Stadium.

Leading 2-0 with one out in the seventh, the Hillcats (4-6) allowed four consecutive Blue Rocks (4-6) hits and five straight baserunners to reach overall.

Xavier Fernandez doubled to start the string of hits off of Hillcats reliever Luis Jimenez. Meibrys Viloria followed with a two-run home run, his first of the season, to tie the game at 2-2. Nick Heath then singled, stole second base, and came home to score on an RBI single by D.J. Burt. Later in the inning with two runners on and two out, Khalil Lee ripped a two-run double to extend Wilmington’s lead to 5-2.

The Hillcats scored their first run in the second inning after Logan Ice hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to score Conner Capel.

In the fourth, Capel blasted his first home run of the season to push Lynchburg’s lead to 2-0. It was also the Hillcats’ first home run of the year as a team.

Lynchburg starter Justin Garza worked five shutout innings. The right-hander allowed just two hits and struck out five in the no-decision. Jimenez (Loss, 0-1) surrendered four earned runs in 1.1 innings. Billy Strode gave up one run in 1.2 innings of work.

Rocks starter Arnaldo Hernandez lasted only 3.1 innings, giving up two runs on seven hits. Grant Gavin (Win, 1-0) pitched two scoreless innings out of the bullpen and Bryan Brickhouse (Save, 2) pitched a scoreless ninth to solidify the win. Wilmington’s bullpen combined for 5.2 shutout innings on Saturday.

Lynchburg and Wilmington will wrap up their four-game series on Sunday. Right-hander Jake Paulson (0-1, 8.10) will start the finale for the Hillcats and the Blue Rocks will counter with left-hander Cristian Castillo (0-1, 4.35). First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. at Frawley Stadium.

Max Gun will be on the air with pre-game coverage starting at 1:25 p.m. on TuneIn Radio and the Radio434 app.

For tickets or more information, visit lynchburg-hillcats.com, call 434-528-1144, or stop by the City Stadium box office.

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